Surf Experience Manager for Soneva Surf
I am the Surf Experience Manager for the Soneva Surf programme at Soneva Fushi and Soneva Jani. Soneva Surf is the world’s first fully sustainable luxury surf programme – all the equipment and products that we use as part of the programme are eco-friendly.
The start of my day
My day starts with checking the surf forecasts and wave conditions first thing in the morning. This is an essential part of my job, as it is important for me to be able to plan out the day ahead and have a sense of what the water will bring.
After a quick breakfast, I head to my office to plan out the surf trips and lessons for the day with my leading surf instructor. You’ll find my office, the Surf Champa (hut), on the edge of the island. Leaning against the walls are our sustainable, ECOBOARD verified, Firewire surfboards. There is also a collection of Fourth Element’s Ocean positive swimwear and rash guards made from recycled ghost nets. Ghost nets are fishing nets that have been left or lost in the ocean by fishermen. These nets, often nearly invisible in the dim light, can be left tangled on a rocky reef or drifting in the open sea. Each year they trap and often kill millions of marine animals.
Preparing for a surfing experience
When I sit at my desk, I can feel the sand beneath my feet and look out across the ocean. I am constantly immersed in nature and the world around me. So even though I’m concentrated on working, it’s hard not to feel relaxed. After planning the day’s surf trips, we always make sure we chat with our guests after they finish their breakfast to make sure everyone is briefed and on the same page.
Trips out to a surf break require a lot more preparation than the surf lessons we organise in our lagoon or on the neighbouring sand bank. If the surf conditions are perfect, we need to confirm the boats, food and drinks for the trip and the surf board preferences of our surfers. As all of our known surf breaks in Baa Atoll are reef breaks, we have to be very careful with guests who are new to reef breaks.
Working with the local community
One of the aspects of my job that I enjoy the most is getting to work with local communities. We help encourage and inspire Maldivian women and children to swim, surf and enjoy the ocean that surrounds them. We bring children out to different breaks on around their atoll, which they don’t often have the luxury of visiting, and it’s so thrilling to see their faces, smiling and proud at the end of the sessions. It gives them courage and a greater sense of connection with their island home.
My typical day ends with my appreciation of being able to live on this magical island. Kunfunadhoo is crisscrossed by pathways shaded by trees and covered in infrastructure that blends seamlessly with nature. The reef surrounding this island is full of marine life and is oh so photogenic. Every day before the sun sets, I get the opportunity to do something that truly makes me happy. I might go for a run along the pathways or freedive and swim along the reef’s edge. Things like this constantly remind me of what an amazing opportunity this place has brought me.